Ordinance On Triple Talaq Validated By The Union Cabinet

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On Wednesday the Union Cabinet headed by Ravi Shankar Prasad, minister for law and justice approved an ordinance making triple talaq a punishable offence. The union minister described the act of triple Talaq as barbaric and inhumane, around 22 countries have regulated the practice of The Triple Talaq and it is only prevalent in countries like India due to Identity politics.

The government in August approved three amendments regarding Muslim Women Protection of Rights on Marriage Bill.

  • The law will remain non bailable and it will remain the same. The bail cannot be granted by the police station at the police station itself.
  • The amendment also made it clear that police would only take FIR if the it was approached by the victim, her blood relatives and the persons who became relative after the marriage.
  • The offence of Triple Talaq was made “compoundable” that is, the magistrate can use his power to settle the dispute between the husband and the wife. In a compoundable offence both parties are at liberty to withdraw the case any time.

The ordinance was a big move for the rights of the Muslim women, the ordinance defines Talaq as ’talaq-e-biddat’ or any other similar form of Talaq having the effect of instantaneous and irrevocable divorce pronounced by a Muslim husband. The ordinance is inconsistent i.e. on one hand it seeks to protect the rights of the Muslim women and on the other hand criminalizing the Triple Talaq leading to instantaneous divorce.

Certain important provision of the ordinance have been discussed as here  under:

Section 3 of the ordinance talks about the pronouncement of Talaq which declares that declaration of Talaq is void and illegal.

Section 4 talks about the punishment for this offence which is an imprisonment up to 3 years along with fine.

Section 5 entitles a married Muslim woman to whom Talaq is pronounced to receive subsistence allowance, as may be determined by the Magistrate, for her and her children. Though the provision intends well, and aims to make a provision for the sustenance of the woman and her children, it does not consider as to how such a provision will be implemented.

Section 6 of the Ordinance provides that, in the event of pronouncement of Triple Talaq, the wife shall be entitled to the custody of her minor children, which leaves no scope for the custody of the children to be given to the husband or the grandparents or any other relative, and it does not provide for any exceptional circumstances.

Section 7 of the ordinance makes the pronouncement of Talaq a cognizable and a non-bail able offence, Section 7 also makes the offence cognizable if an FIR is lodged either by the woman in question or her relatives. The offence has been made non-bail able and it has been stated that bail shall be granted only after hearing the married Muslim woman upon whom Triple Talaq is pronounced. The ordinance creates a condition of dilemma on one side it criminalize the procurement of Talaq and on the other hand it doesn’t address to the bigger problem of   ‘desertion’. Hence a legislation which also deal with the problem of development too will eventually help in the uplifting of the status of the women in the society as a whole.

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